Twenty years ago, this would be a big match as they were some of the famous ‘Magnificent Seven’ in Serie A. They both were the elite which several times qualified to the Champions League. Now, this match is nothing more than a clash between teams in the mid table. The host is currently on the ninth of the table while Lazio sits on the seventh with exactly the same points. This is also the encounter of two prospective Italian managers who used to be in Gli Azzuri in late 90s and early 2000s. They are Simone Inzaghi in Lazio and Vicenzo Montella from the home side. They will be meeting in Artemio Franchi on this Sunday.
La Viola is still in progress of returning to the European competition. They have been absent since 2016, which was the last time they qualify to the Europa League. This season, they have been undefeated in their last six games. Last week, they were held in a goalless draw by Brescia. Frank Ribery and Federico Chiesa were not in their peak form at that time. Furthermore, some of their chances were denied by Brescia’s remarkable goalie, Jesse Joronen.
This season, Lazio have to struggle to be in consistent form for Serie A and Europa League. Unfortunately, it has not been easy. Last week, Ciro Immobile and Co had to rely on two penalties to avoid the defeat while hosting Atalanta. They were held in a 3-3 draw. Then in Europa League, they lost against Celtic 2-1 Simone Inzaghi’s men took the lead first by Manuel Lazzari but eventually could not protect it as the Scottish side replied two goals in the second half.
Missing players and probable lineups:
Since his return to Artemio Franchi, Vicenzo Montella tends to deploy the same formation he once used in his first period there, 3-5-2. He relies on two non-targetmen at the front, Frank Ribery and Federico Chiesa. Both are capable of multiple roles, as a second striker, winger or even playmaker when necessary. Luckily, there is none in the injury table this time.
Fiorentina: Bartliomej Dragowski; German Pezzella, Martin Caceres, Nikola Milenkovic; Erick Pulgar, Dalbert, Gaetano Castrovilli, Milan Baldej, Poi Lirola; Federico Chiesa, Frank Ribery
Lazio, as a matter of fact, is also in favour of the identical 3-5-2 as their counterpart since the reign of Simone Inzaghi. He often counts on dynamic duo at the front, Ciro Immobile and Joaquin Correa, who is also quite versatile. For this upcoming match, none has to be ruled out as well in their squad.
Lazio: Thomas Strakosha; Luiz Felipe, Stefanu Radu, Francesco Acerbi ; Senad Lulic, Adam Marusic, Lucas Leiva, Luis Alberto, Patric ; Joaquin Correa, Ciro Immobile.
Fiorentina have positive record in the last six matches in Serie A without a single defeat. However, when it comes to head-to-head meetings encounter, Lazio is more superior with 3 wins and 2 draws in their last six meetings.
The match is expected to be even. Montella’s men might slightly have bigger opportunity to win but Lazio’s attacking side is more dangerous. In addition, their identical formation and tactical approach could also lead to a tie result.
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